Is Cardio Necessary to Lose Weight?
Weight loss is an extremely popular topic in the fitness industry. Typically if you want to lose weight you assume you need to diet and do a lot of cardio. The diet must be in check, but cardio is the last piece of the puzzle. If you want to lose weight and hate cardio, I have good news for you. You do not need to do cardio to lose weight.
First let's get a few things straight. Cardiovascular health is extremely important and you should gain and maintain a strong cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular exercise can keep you alive and healthy by lowering your risk for heart disease. When combined with a heart healthy diet, it helps keep your blood pressure low, minimizes the plaque build up in your arteries, improves circulation, keeps your heart beating strong, and burns calories.
I like to think of cardio as a supplement to your total daily energy expenditure. Basically if you are not very active during the day, cardio will burn more calories which can help you stay in a negative energy balance (calories in vs calories out). For weight loss resistance training is the ideal form of exercise. It builds strength, lean muscle, and burns calories. Resistance training creates a metabolic demand, and your body will continue to burn calories at an elevated rate as your recover. Strength training has cardiovascular benefits as well.
You cannot outwork a poor diet! If you want to lose weight, your diet is priority number 1, your resistance training workouts are priority number 2, and cardio is the last piece of the puzzle. Find out how many calories you burn in a day including calories burned through exercise, then create a deficit through calorie restriction. A 500 calories deficit will result in 1 pound per week of fat loss.